Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Concourse garage: A huge success

Now that the Academy of Sciences is open in Golden Gate Park, the city's voters have been thoroughly vindicated for passing Proposition J in 1998 authorizing the construction of the garage under the Concourse. The Academy has received nothing but rave reviews, and people are waiting in long lines on weekends and holidays to gain entrance.

The 800-space underground garage---completely invisible from the Concourse itself---is often full, belying the hysterical claims of opponents of the garage that it would degrade Golden Gate Park, wouldn't make any money and become a financial liability, even though it was a $55 million gift to the city, thanks to Warren Hellman and friends. Supporters of the garage were called "enemies of the park." I was called a liar and a coward and accused of being in the pay of Hellman or somebody when I wrote favorably of the garage and the Concourse Authority.

And guess who the main opponents of the garage were? The city's bike people, of course; they hate anything that makes it easier for people to drive in the city. 

Proposition J also promised to turn the Concourse into a "pedestrian oasis," which it now is, thanks to Mike Ellzey and the Concourse Authority. The 200 parking spaces that used to mar the surface of the Concourse are now gone, and one only sees pedestrians, cyclists, Muni's Southbound #44 line, tour buses, and the occasional auto in the area. Those who park in the garage can conveniently visit the Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the Arboretum.

An interview with Mike Ellzey, Executive Director of the Concourse Authority

Click on "Concourse Garage" below for more history of the garage project.

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